Have you ever thought about how weird hiccups are? They’re funny for a minute, but they become annoying really fast. They can become disruptive, distracting, and sometimes even painful. Why do you hiccup in the first place?
The question of how to cure hiccups is an age-old mystery that still has no answer. Find out why you hiccup and why can’t you stop them on command.
What are hiccups?
Hiccups happen when your diaphragm glitches. They are sudden and involuntary spasms or contractions of your diaphragm.
Your diaphragm is responsible for allowing you to inhale air. As this muscle contracts, it simultaneously closes the vocal cords. This is why you make that annoying little “hic” noise when you experience a hiccup.
What’s the point of having hiccups?
This strange little quirk is unique to mammals, most likely for nursing. Some believe that hiccups help babies remove the air from their stomachs as they feed. However, this isn’t a proven fact yet.
Although hiccups may be able to help babies, scientists still scratch their heads on what good they are to adults. Hiccups are complicated and are still not fully understood.
What causes hiccups?
Things that irritate the diaphragm or stretch the stomach trigger hiccups. Examples of this are swallowing air and eating or drinking too quickly.
However, it turns out hiccups aren’t just caused by physical irritants, but also emotional ones! Weirdly enough, your emotions sometimes trigger hiccups. This could be from shock, stress, laughing, excitement, sobbing, anxiety, or even a temperature change.
On top of that, hiccups can go for minutes, hours, days, or even weeks. The longest bout of hiccups in history lasted 68 years!
What we know:
The bottom line is that no one fully understands why the human body has this spasm. Plus, humanity still seems pretty far off from a cure.
They may drive you and everyone else insane, but you must admit that hiccups are pretty fascinating.